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The Expendables was one of Hollywood's schockliest experiments: Corral a bunch of seriously aging movie stars and see if audiences will watch them join forces for another shoot-'em-up.

It worked. Sylvester Stallone ran with the project, rewriting the script and installing himself as director and star, and The Expendables grossed more than $274 million worldwide, with $305 million more for the sequel.

The Expendables 3, still in theaters, had a disappointing start a couple of weeks ago, but part of the blame might belong to a pirated version being seen 5 million times before the opening. 

Time to give the concept a fresh twist. 

"How about an Expendables with women?" we wondered.

Turns out such a project is actually in the works, with a possible title of The Expenda-Belles.  Sigourney Weaver, who was otherworldy tough in Alien and three sequels, was the ideal choice for the lead, but, alas, she said no. (Stallone said Weaver could play his wife.)

Here are our other nominees, all of them over 50, except for one of the toughest woman to ever appear on TV. One was thrown in for comic relief.

Brigitte Nielsen, 51. Tough roles: Red Sonja, Stallone's real-life wife.

Demi Moore, 51. Tough roles: G.I. Jane (above), Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle

Pam Grier, 65. Jackie Brown, Foxy Brown (above).

Michelle Yeoh, 52. Tough role: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, among others.

Lynda Carter, 63. Tough role: Wonder Woman.

Linda Hamilton, 57. Tough roles: Terminator, Terminator 2

Lucy Lawless, 46. Tough role: Xena: Warrior Princess.

Jodie Foster, 51. Tough roles: Panic Room, Silence of the Lambs, The Brave One

Helen Mirren, 69. Tough roles: Prime Suspect, Red.

Martina Navratilova, 57. Tough role: Greatest female tennis player ever.

Betty White, 92. Not-so-tough roles: Golden Girls, Password.

Also considered: Angelina Jolie (Tomb Raider) is just 39. In their early to mid 40s: Jennifer Garner (Alias) and Uma Thurman (Kill Bill).  Halle Berry (Catwoman) sure doesn't look her 48. Maybe Sandra Bullock, who is 50, but she plays her tough characters as vulnerable. Meryl Streep and Susan Sarandon (Thelma & Louise) are too classy. Kathy Bates (Misery)? Jane Fonda? Cher?? Anybody we forgot?

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or Follow @petemucha on Twitter.